Home to no less than 53 14,000ft peaks, Colorado is the most mountainous state in the Lower 48. In amongst those mountains are some world-famous ski areas, and there are few skiers on the planet who haven't dreamt of exploring them!Less
The Boxcar Couloir is the highlight of this line with tight turns and rocks walls that tower above you. At some points, a jump turn is mandatory because it gets so narrow. Skiing between rock walls that stretch up hundreds of feet is a very unique and exciting experience! Add on the fact that the route includes a second couloir from the summit of a 14er and there aren’t many lines in the state that can beat this.
The Birthday Chutes are a pair of wide, 35-degree chutes on the shoulder of Silver Mountain, near Telluride Ski Resort. They offer some of the most reliable backcountry skiing in the Telluride area, holding cold snow long after storms due to their shady aspect, high elevation, and protection from the wind. Easily accessible from the ski area boundary, the Birthday Chutes are a classic intermediate tour with short approach.
McMillan Peak, at an elevation of 12,804 feet, is the easiest and most accessible summit in the beautiful Red Mountain Pass corridor. This peak sits near the top of the pass, which is also dubbed the “Million Dollar Highway,” for its stunning views and precipitous drop-offs. From the parking lot at the top of the pass, powder meadows and glades abound, but the peaks themselves are jagged and difficult to climb. McMillan peak is an exception, and can be climbed on skins in a couple of hours.
This ski mountaineering route has some of the best challenging-but-not-extreme ski lines in the Elks. The challenge of this route comes with playing the different aspects so that all five ski descents can be accomplished in one enduring mission.
A ski mountaineering route that takes you to the most beautiful view of North Maroon and then has you ski it!
Silver Couloir is probably the most well known couloir in Summit County and is included as one of the 50 Classic Ski Descents of North America (50classicskidescents.com). This is for good reason as the couloir is about 2,500 feet of wide open turns and aesthetic views. Access is easy and at just over five miles round trip, this couloir is fairly easy to accomplish.
This long and beautiful ski tour takes you up the Cornet Creek drainage from the town of Telluride, over a high mountain pass, and down through Marshall basin and the Tomboy ghost town before returning you back to Telluride. While the skiing itself is moderate in difficulty, the tour is long and requires a full day to complete. The views in each of the basins are magnificent, and the vista from the divide at the highpoint of the day will leave you speechless.
Snodgrass is a nice place to take a hike in the woods. There are a few short powder stashes in the trees where you can find some good turns. Along the skin track, you will pass by a few openings in the trees that have some spectacular views of Mount Crested Butte. This is a good place to go when avalanche danger is high, you’re new to the backcountry, or you’re just looking for a mellow tour.
High Voltage is one of the many runs in the Montezuma area that offers fun gully skiing. The North facing aspect holds snow well and the 30-35 degree slopes offer the perfect angle for fun powder skiing. Don’t get too relaxed though, this is an avalanche path so make sure conditions are safe before choosing this line.